New Delhi: The long-awaited train service to Katra, the base camp of Vaishno Devi shrine, in Jammu and Kashmir will soon be a reality as railways is gearing up to make the 25-km-long Udhampur-Katra rail line operational shortly.
The train service for Katra will be launched soon as the line is ready now, the new Railway Member (Engineering) VK Gupta said here today.
Gupta, who was Northern Railway General Manager, succeeded SK Jain, who superannuated from railway services on April 30.
Asked whether the Udhampur-Katra line has got safety clearance from Commissioner Railway Safety (CRS), Gupta said there were some issues which had been addressed and "we are expecting clearance any moment now".
Once the line becomes operational, it will enable pilgrims to the Vaishno Devi shrine to travel directly to the base camp at Katra.
Constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 1050 crore, the rail link has seven tunnels and over 30 small and big bridges.
Gupta said railway stations at Katra and Udhampur are also ready now.
The 53-km-long Jammu-Udhampur rail line is already operational and once the Udhampur-Katra line, which is a part of the Kashmir rail link project, is made operational, the trains will be able to come to Katra directly.